Promotion in the Marketing Mix

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  • 0:03 Why Promotion Is Used…
  • 1:02 The Five Types of Promotion
  • 4:24 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John McLaughlin
In this lesson, we'll learn the role promotion plays in the marketing mix and explore how companies utilize the five elements of promotion to most effectively communicate a consistent message to their target market.

Why Promotion Is Used in Marketing

What if you invented a machine that could turn tap water into delicious ice cream? Wouldn't that be incredible? You would want to tell the whole world about your fabulous new invention, and just about everyone would want to buy one of your machines. It would be easy to tell your family and friends about your invention, but how would you tell the rest of the world?

This is the same decision that companies must constantly make in order to effectively communicate what they have to offer to their customers. Companies use what is known as promotion to communicate with their customers. Promotion is of the four 'Ps' of marketing and plays a very important role in the marketing mix. A company can have a great product (like a machine that turns water into ice cream) and have the ability to sell it at an affordable price, but if no one knows the company's product exists, they won't have any customers. This is why companies must use the tools of promotion to constantly communicate with their customers.

The Five Types of Promotion

Companies have five ways of communicating with their customers. These are commonly referred to as the five elements of promotion. They are: advertising, direct marketing, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion. Different companies use different amounts of each of these five elements in order to send a consistent message to the people who buy their products and services.

1. Advertising

Advertising is communication that a company pays to send to their customers. There are many forms of advertising, including TV and radio commercials, print and Internet, and billboards. Communication designed to sell products or services that a company pays for is considered to be advertising. If you decided to pay for a thirty minute infomercial to tell the world about your great new invention, you would be using advertising to communicate with your potential customers.

2. Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is one-to-one communication that a company uses to aim their message at a specific type of customer. This type of communication includes email, direct mail, online ads, and phone sales. When using this type of promotion, a company researches a certain type of prospective customer and designs the communication to specifically speak to them. If you decided that the best way to sell your ice cream machine was through retail stores, you would contact them directly by calling them and sending them information in the mail. This is an example of direct marketing.

3. Public Relations

Public relations is the communication that takes place between a company and the community. This type of communication is typically not paid for by the company. Giving away free samples of your ice cream would be a good way to generate positive public relations, for example. You would probably first want to tell the local news people that you will be giving away free ice cream. They might decide to do a story about you and your new invention, which would be great advertising that you would not have to pay for.

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